City council approves $1.3M settlement to family of man fatally shot by St. Paul officers

The St. Paul city council approved a $1.3 million settlement Wednesday to the family of a 24-year-old fatally shot by officers in 2015.

Marcus Golden died Jan. 14, 2015, in the parking lot of an apartment building at 261 E. University Ave. near Regions Hospital. A grand jury determined in 2015 that St. Paul officers Jeremy Doverspike and Dan Peck were legally justified.

Police had received a 911 call from a man who said he’d been receiving death threats from his ex-girlfriend’s former boyfriend. He reported the man “always has a gun” and was in the parking lot outside his St. Paul apartment building, according to a 911 transcript. He also said the man’s first name was “Marcus.”

One of the officers wrote in his response to Golden’s family’s federal lawsuit that Golden dropped his hands “in a way that made (him) believe Golden was reaching for a gun” before driving directly at him. Police said in 2015 that a loaded handgun was found within Golden’s reach in the vehicle.

Golden’s family’s lawsuit said he was unarmed, and he was trying to drive around two officers and their vehicle when both opened fire.

Communities United Against Police Brutality said in a statement that an investigation by their reinvestigation work group aided by a hired ballistics expert “uncovered and documented many new facts about the incident that repudiate the initial investigation and paint a very different picture of what happened to Marcus at the hands of police.”

The city hired outside attorneys for Doverspike and Peck for the lawsuit at a cost of about $63,000 as of the end of November, according to the city attorney’s office.

The city attorney’s office said last year that the addition of the wrongful death claim presented a conflict of interest, and they couldn’t represent the officers who fired their weapons along with providing legal counsel to the city and other officers named in the lawsuit.

Related Articles